Semicircular canal dehiscence in the pediatric population

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Feb;73(2):321-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.10.027. Epub 2008 Dec 16.


Objectives: (1) Identify the existence of semicircular canal bony dehiscence in the pediatric population; (2) determine the frequency of this finding in children over 3 years of age who have had temporal bone computed tomography (CT) imaging; (3) correlate the clinical history and audiological data to CT findings in this population.

Design and setting: Retrospective review of temporal bone CT scans performed at a tertiary care children's hospital and retrospective chart review.

Patients: Children over 3 years of age who underwent a temporal bone CT scan between January 2006 and December 2006.

Results: Review of 131 temporal bone CT scans using multiplanar imaging techniques revealed evidence of semicircular canal bony dehiscence in 18 children older than 3 years of age. Dehiscence of the superior semicircular canal was identified in 14 patients while dehiscence of the posterior semicircular canal was identified in 5 patients. One patient had both the superior and posterior semicircular canal dehiscences. Retrospective chart review comparing children with and without semicircular canal dehiscence showed no significant difference in clinical history or audiological data.

Conclusions: Semicircular canal dehiscence exists in the pediatric population. In this series, 18 of 131 temporal bone CT scans were positive for bony dehiscence of the superior or posterior semicircular canals. Further study is required to determine the clinical significance of this radiographic finding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone / methods
  • Bone Diseases, Developmental / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Diseases, Developmental / epidemiology*
  • Bone Diseases, Developmental / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semicircular Canals / diagnostic imaging
  • Semicircular Canals / pathology*
  • Temporal Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Bone / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed